December 25th, 2015
Source: Times of India | Representational Image: drpaulose
Those patients who are suffering from throat cancer but are unable to shell out money due to exorbitant cost of artificial voice box have a reason to rejoice. Vishal Rao, an oncologist has invented a voice box prosthesis priced at Rs 50.
He said that losing voice has emotional effect on the patients. The prosthesis is priced at 20,000 and has to be changed in every six months.
Rao named the machine “Aum” as it is the sound that first resonated the universe. He took the help of his industrialist friend, Shashank Mahesh to deal with the financial aspect of the project.
“We imported platinum cured silicone (two-component high tear strength and flexible mould or casting compounds) from Germany to design the prosthesis. We had to make sure it didn’t react with body tissues,” said Dr Rao as quoted by Times of India.
A 55-year-old watchman, Ramakrishna was the first recipient of the voice machine. In order to keep himself awake at night he used to smoke beedi and now he suffers from throat cancer. The team of doctors had to remove his voice box. He was given a western voice prosthesis. Though it had a shelf life of six months, he used it for two years as he couldn’t afford a new one. He came to Dr Rao with tears in his eyes saying that food was leaking through the prosthesis. He went back with the newly invented prosthesis.
So far, the prosthesis has benefited three patients. It recently bagged the state innovation award at a recent conference of oncologists. The machine will be upgraded if necessary after a 3 months watch. The ethical committee and the scientific committee at HCG has given its nod for further research on the device.
Well the invention is a boon for millions who have lost their voice and are dependent on costly machines. One needs to laud Dr Vishal Rao who came up with this machine at a lower cost.